Tuesday, July 24, 2007
A Story is a Promise
For the next several days, I’ll be posting about the experiences I had with the Lighthouse Writers Workshop at the Grand Lake Writers Getaway last week.
Alexandre is a charming, bright, talented screenwriter and film maker and a charismatic instructor and speaker. He was born and raised in
Much as there is a story arc to the entire work, each scene or sequence also has an arc and must serve to define character and/or move the story forward. To illustrate this, Alexandre showed us a film clip of the opening sequence in the movie Minority Report, a movie based on the Philip K. Dick short story published in 1956. This example shows us a very fast moving sequence of linked scenes in which we’re shown a man and woman about to engage in a sexual encounter, who are then observed by another man who bursts into the room and violently murders them. These images cut back and forth to The Division of Precrime, where we see the images of this crime being transmitted via three “precogs” who are somehow wired up to an elaborate audio visual display, showing this futuristic division images of a crime that is about to be committed. Immediately, we’re given a crisis scenario – a violent crime is about to be committed, the division has been given the names of the victims and the perpetrator and need to determine where the crime scene is. We cut to Tom Cruise entering the building and exchanging some banter with a coworker. This chit chat quickly characterizes Tom Cruise as dedicated, but also somewhat personable. The stakes continue to be raised as the team is having difficulty with the address and the clock is ticking – they are maybe 15 minutes away from the time the crime will be committed. Enter Colin Firth, from a separate federal agency. He is observing the
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It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything.